PTEN tumor suppressor gene


Columbia University College Of Physicians and Surgeons


Ramon Parsons, MD, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons


While looking for genes associated with breast cancer, Parsons and his team discovered that inactivation of a tumor suppressor gene, PTEN, is linked to several cancers, including prostate, brain, breast, and kidney cancer. Parsons’ work was published at the same time that another cancer researcher, Peter Steck, of MD Anderson, made the same discovery, calling the gene MMAC1. Reduced activity in the gene has been shown to affect tumor cell growth and survival, as well as the tumor microenvironment. More recently, in preclinical research, Parsons found that variants of the gene can be administered to restore PTEN activity.